Government to appeal court ruling on unlawful Rwanda policy
Yesterday Rishi Sunak said that he “fundamentally” disagreed with the decision made by judges at the Court of Appeal to overturn the High Court’s ruling that the nation could be considered a “safe third country”.
Lord Chief Justice Lord Burnett stressed during a short hearing in London that the conclusion was purely based on the law, and took no view on the political merits of the policy.
The Prime Minister said that although he respected the court, he disagreed with their findings.
“Rwanda is a safe country,” he said in a statement.
The High Court agreed. The UNHCR have their own refugee scheme for Libyan refugees in Rwanda. We will now seek permission to appeal this decision to the Supreme Court.
“The policy of this government is very simple, it is this country – and your government – who should decide who comes here, not criminal gangs. And I will do whatever is necessary to make that happen.”
This was echoed by Suella Braverman, the Home Secretary, who said she was “fully committed” to the policy but also suggested the current system was “rigged against the British people” on the issue.
The Rwandan Government said it took “issue” with the Court of Appeal’s ruling and insisted the east African nation was “one of the safest countries in the world”.
Downing Street yesterday refused to say whether it still believes any migrants will be sent to Rwanda before the next election.
Yvette Cooper, Labour’s shadow home secretary, accused the Government of relying on “slogans” and “gimmicks” rather than giving a solution to the migrant crisis.
“The Home Secretary talks today again about thousands of people being sent,” she told the Commons, adding: “The Lord Chief Justice says the talk of Rwanda within a few years being a destination for thousands of asylum seekers is political hyperbole.”
“How long is she going to keep wasting all of this taxpayers’ money on a failing policy and wasting everybody’s time on this ramping up the rhetoric rather than coming up with a serious plan?”
Ms Cooper went on: “This is their chaos, their Tory chaos, their boats chaos and their broken asylum system. We don’t need more slogans, we need solutions, not more gimmicks. We need a Government with a grip.”
The Court of Appeal’s ruling is the latest setback in Rishi Sunak’s efforts to “stop the boats” – one of his flagship policy pledges.
So far this year 11,279 people have been detected making the trip, according to provisional Home Office figures.
The Government’s flagship Illegal Migration Bill has already passed through the Commons but has faced four defeats in the Lords on Wednesday.
Thursday’s judgment also comes days after the Home Office’s own figures showed the Government could spend £169,000 on every asylum seeker forcibly removed to a third country such as Rwanda.